A long awaited online gaming network from Sony was launched yesterday. The move will see a shift for Sony to servicing a network of game communities, rather than a disk-based service. The service will become the major rival to Microsoft’s Xbox Live, and should be launched in November. Apparently, the ultimate aim may be to cut out the middleman.

"That direct connection between the consumer and the game creator is something we want to push," he said, announcing an "e-distribution initiative" to create the next generation of content that would only be available online, distributed via its service. A website – www.playstation.com/beyond – has been set up for developers to contact Sony and establish a direct relationship.